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Penn State Basketball: Nittany Lions Ranked 23rd in Latest AP Poll

by on December 16, 2019 12:43 PM

For the first time since 1996, Penn State men's basketball is ranked in the AP Top 25, landing at No. 23 in the latest poll released Monday.

The Nittany Lions are 9-2 and coming off of wins over Alabama on Saturday and then-No. 4 Maryland last Tuesday.

Penn State joins four other Big Ten squads ranked in the AP Top 25 poll, including No. 5 Ohio State, No. 7 Maryland, No. 14 Michigan, and No. 15 Michigan State. Pat Chambers’ squad has a 1-1 conference record, as its only Big Ten loss came in an ugly 106-74 defeat to Ohio State in Columbus. 

Perhaps more importantly, Penn State is No. 18 in the first NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings of the year. The NET ranking system, introduced prior to the 2018-19 season, was developed to replace RPI as a major component that the selection committee uses to determine seeding and at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.

The NET rankings are updated on a daily basis following the initial release.

Both of Penn State's losses to Ohio State and Ole Miss currently fall within the first quadrant, the highest tier of quality for both wins and losses as determined by the ranking system.

The Nittany Lions, who are also ranked No. 24 in the new coaches poll, will next face Central Connecticut State at 6 p.m. Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The match up will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. The Nittany Lions then host Cornell on Dec. 29 before starting off the rest of the Big Ten slate with a meeting against Iowa on Jan. 4 at the Palestra in Philadelphia.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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